Tassadar was a protoss high templar and executor in charge of the expeditionary force which made first contact with the zerg. His forces also made first contact with the terrans when they sterilized the surface of Chau Sara in an effort to stem the growth of the zerg. Tassadar was extremely reluctant to sacrifice the terrans in order to destroy the zerg. He eventually lost his position as executor for sparing the terrans.
Tassadar learned how to use the Dark Templar's energies and dared to bring them to Aiur. This alliance was responsible for the destruction of the dreaded Overmind, but not without Tassadar's sacrifice. His feats and selfless sacrifice earned him the title "Savior of the Templar."
Tassadar the Warrior
Tassadar "was born into a generation that looked set for a dynamic future", yet stood as an example for a growing rift in protoss society. Frustrated by the stoic, dogmatic view that his elders held of the past, Tassadar felt that the unbending nature of protoss society and their inability to reevaluate ancient traditions would lead to disaster. The Dark Templar were of special interest to him, but still stood in anathema to what he believed in. Regardless, Tassadar rose through the ranks of the Templar Caste alongside his friend Fenix. He walked the planet of Aiur for centuries as both warrior and philosopher. He eventually achieved the rank of executor. He was noted for his compassion towards "lesser races." He served as mentor to the young prelate Artanis, teaching him in the ways of leadership and how to be a warrior.
Tassadar the Executor
Not long before the Great War, Tassadar observed the actions of the terrans in the Koprulu sector, who had arrived in the region of space over two centuries ago. While on patrol under Tassadar's aegis the Koprulu Expeditionary Fleet encountered zerg deep space scouting creatures. At the time these creatures were merely curiosities from the unknown and they were returned to Aiur to be probed by khaydarin crystals. To the protoss' shock the creatures had a natural affinity for the crystals' energies, meaning they ultimately resulted from xel'naga genetic manipulation just as the protoss did. More disturbing, however, was the vague thought stream of the creatures which read: Find Humanity... Learn... Evolve.
Tassadar argued that under the dictates of the Dae'Uhl the protoss were responsible for protecting the terrans. The Conclave opined that the "worthless" race of terrans should be eradicated if they were already infested by the new threat. Tassadar was sent with his fleet to monitor the terran worlds and gauge the severity of the impending danger, pursuant to determining what course of action to take. En route, Tassadar ordered the 7th Fleet, commanded by Executor Andraxxus and Judicator Syndrea, to detach from the Koprulu Expeditionary Fleet and secure the Brontes system as a path for withdrawal from terran space.
It was too late. By the time the Koprulu Expeditionary Fleet approached the terran colony world of Chau Sara on 8 December 2499, the zerg were already extant on the planet. Although reasonably certain that any surviving terrans were beyond hope, Tassadar carried out the Conclave's orders to sterilize Chau Sara with great reluctance. The sister world of Mar Sara was infested as well. There, however, Tassadar hesitated. After being met by token resistance by a Terran Confederacy fleet led by Edmund Duke, Tassadar announced himself and withdrew, unable to follow his genocidal orders. He sought a way to defeat the zerg without wiping out humanity in the process. He wondered if humanity might have greater potential than to be unwitting casualties of the zerg or protoss.
The Battle for Koprulu
Tassadar began taking a more proactive role. Even as terrans were abandoning Mar Sara, Tassadar personally led a landing party to Fire Base Chimera and fought the zerg. At the base he encountered the terran marine Andre Madrid who was being infested. At the terran's request Tassadar euthanized Madrid. As at Chau Sara, Tassadar ordered the sterilization of Mar Sara only once he was confident there was no further hope.
The Koprulu Expeditionary Fleet followed the infestation to Antiga Prime. Again the protoss gave the terrans time to escape, even offering an alliance against the zerg. Once the Delta Squadron detachment sent to evacuate the planet was defeated, Antiga Prime befell the same fate as Chau Sara and Mar Sara. In the meantime, Tassadar's rearguard in the Brontes system was overwhelmed and entirely wiped out as the zerg threw their full weight against them.
Arriving at Tarsonis on the heels of the zerg, Tassadar came into direct conflict with later-nemesis Sarah Kerrigan for the first time. The terran and her troops succeeded in frustrating early protoss attempts to engage the zerg, allowing the zerg to overrun Tarsonis.
Break with the Conclave: Invasions of Char and Aiur
"Such is the price for our race's salvation, Judicator!"
In the aftermath of the Fall of Tarsonis, the Conclave ordered that Tassadar return to Aiur for punishment, humiliation and possibly execution. Tassadar refused to return. Psionic energy drew his attention to the world of Char. The cry called for him by name, and gave him some information, such as Char being the zerg base of operations. Tassadar sent most of the fleet back home, retaining only the Gantrithor and its crew and passengers. He told his preserver adviser, Zamara, to return to the safety of the Sanctum but she refused.
Upon arriving at Char the protoss struck the orbiting terran fleets of Alpha Squadron and Raynor's Raiders. The terrans were under attack by the Zerg Swarm and Tassadar ordered the terran ships destroyed to prevent their infestation. The terran flagships Norad III and Hyperion escaped.
Tassadar met Jim Raynor, the Raiders' leader and Mar Sara survivor, stranded on the surface. The protoss explained his actions and won a tentative alliance with Raynor. Finally the Khalai met the Dark Templar Prelate Zeratul. Zeratul had demonstrated the Dark Templar's ability to slay cerebrates by killing Zasz; the Khalai were unable to do so as they did not wield void-based psionic energies. Despite this crucial ability, Tassadar initially distrusted the Dark Templar, and ordered Zamara to remain on the Gantrithor for fear of Dark Templar attack. However, Zeratul convinced Tassadar to cooperate against the zerg. The two protoss groups and Raynor's Raiders began traveling together, and forged an alliance of mutual respect and friendship as they struggled against the zerg.
When Zeratul killed Zasz the Overmind was able to read his mind and discover the location of the protoss homeworld. The majority of the Zerg Swarm then invaded Aiur, leaving only Kerrigan and her cerebrate in command of the remaining zerg forces there, in order to hunt down the Dark Templar.
The Conclave appointed a replacement executor, Artanis. Tassadar and Zeratul, putting their powers together, contacted the new executor from Char and related why he had traveled there instead of returning home. Judicator Aldaris, Artanis' adviser, did not take well to Tassadar's friendship with the heretic Nerazim. Again, Tassadar refused to return home. More importantly, Tassadar revealed the zerg could be defeated by killing the cerebrates. As a result Artanis and Fenix's attempt to kill a cerebrate shortly afterward would fail, as they had no dark templar. That failure would cause the Conclave to brand Tassadar as a liar, traitor, and heretic.
In time Tassadar was taught how to use such energies by Zeratul, blasphemy in the eyes of the Khala, and underwent the Shadow Walk. With the powers of the Khala and the Dark Templar at his command Tassadar achieved a completeness beyond the scope of the Khala.
Kerrigan and her cerebrate were the last remaining zerg commanders on Char. They continually hunted the protoss and Raiders. Having been lured into a trap by Raynor and Zeratul, the zerg assault faltered, and Tassadar used his new Dark Templar powers to slay the cerebrate, causing Kerrigan to lose control of the zerg. She immediately began bringing zerg back to her side in an inefficient process before challenging Raynor, Zeratul and Tassadar to a duel. She disabled Raynor and was defeating the two protoss commanders when they were rescued by Artanis' Fleet of the Executor. A grateful Tassadar expressed some incredulity that such a force was dispatched just to arrest him. While willing to face the Conclave's judgement Tassadar was unwilling to depart without first finding Zeratul and the Dark Templar, who had become separated and gone missing. Tassadar explained it was imperative to find the Dark Templar since only their energies could permanently slay cerebrates. Raynor and Artanis, the latter despite Aldaris' objections and threats, agreed to help Tassadar.
The Dark Templar were tracked to an infested terran installation. The area around the base was occupied by zerg hives and survivors of the Terran Dominion expedition. General Edmund Duke did not take kindly to the intrusion of the protoss and the protoss were forced to fight through the terrans as well as the zerg. Once inside the installation Tassadar and a small team were aided by surviving terran soldiers against the zerg. Eventually they located Zeratul and the Dark Templar. Although wary of the Conclave, Zeratul agreed to accompany Tassadar to Aiur for the sake of their species.
The Civil War
- Main article: Protoss Civil War
"Aldaris, I submit myself to the Conclave's judgment. But know this, given the same choices again, I would surely have made them. I have sacrificed all that our world might live. I have sullied my honor, I have discarded my rank and standing, and I have even broken our own most ancient traditions. But never think that I would, for one moment, regret my actions. For I am Templar, and above all else, I have sworn to protect our homeworld 'till the end."
- Aldaris and Tassadar upon the latter's capture.(src)
On arriving at Aiur they were joined by Fenix, now a dragoon, who delivered a warning that the Conclave was still determined to arrest Tassadar and execute the Dark Templar. Tassadar was exasperated at the Conclave's continued dogmatism, commenting that "in the face of total annihilation they still cling to their failing traditions." As Templar, Tassadar's duty was clear. He could not allow the Conclave to impede efforts to save Aiur, so he reluctantly ordered his followers to attack the Conclave. Yet having stormed into the breach Tassadar could not bring himself to press home the attack. Appalled by the internecine bloodshed Tassadar instructed his comrades to fall back and escape and willingly surrendered himself to the Conclave.
Artanis, Fenix and Raynor resolved to rescue Tassadar, Zeratul having disappeared once more. The rescue attempt was anticipated. Having fought their way to Tassadar and freed him the would-be rescuers were surrounded by additional troops loyal to the Conclave. Only the timely intervention of the Dark Templar allowed Tassadar and his allies to once again escape the clutches of the Conclave. Tassadar was credited with wiping out the entire Conclave by preserver Zamara.
Tassadar spoke with the reassembled allies and impressed upon them the dire need to destroy the Overmind. Given the resources to properly assimilate the protoss the zerg would become unstoppable. To break through to the creature the Dark Templar slew two cerebrates to weaken the defenses and distract the Overmind. Their success drew a belated apology from Aldaris, acknowledging Tassadar's correctness. With the way open Tassadar took to the field once more aboard Gantrithor for the assault on the Overmind proper. Alongside Raynor's Raiders the protoss bore in on the beast and managed to destroy the Overmind's outer armored shell. However, zerg resistance continued to be heavy and casualties were mounting such that it seemed unlikely the killing blow could be struck.
These sacrifices would not be in vain. To ensure victory Tassadar ordered Gantrithor to collide with the Overmind while he channeled the power of the Khala and Void through the ship itself. As he plummeted toward the creature, he contacted his former pupil Artanis, stating that he had to take the path laid before him. The resulting coruscating energies destroyed his body and the Gantrithor, and the unleashed power destroyed the Overmind itself.
Though the Overmind was destroyed, saving creation from assimilated protoss, it was a pyrrhic victory for Aiur. The protoss homeworld lay in ruins and the remainder of the zerg blindly rampaged across its surface.
Tassadar's allies elevated him to martyr and hero. Tassadar's name was commonly invoked in salutations and dedications by Khalai and Nerazim alike shortly after his death. Carriers in the style of his flagship Gantrithor continued to be constructed for years after his death in honor of his sacrifice.
Tool of Prophecy
On the eve of the Second Great War, Zeratul returned to Aiur to extract memories from the Overmind's cortex. The dark templar sought information to clarify a prophecy he found on Ulaan. Using this as an opportunity to communicate with him directly, the xel'naga Ouros, who created the Ulaan prophecy, chose the form of Tassadar as one Zeratul would instinctively trust. From this form, he imparted a vision of the future that the Overmind saw, one of a future where the protoss are annihilated should Sarah Kerrigan be killed.
Ouros would appear two more times using the Tassadar disguise. Once was on Atrias in the Temple of Erris, where Zeratul sought the final piece of the prophecy. He revealed to Zeratul there that the Keystone would usher him unto hope. The last was when Kerrigan, Raynor and Artanis entered the void at the behest of Ouros to slay Amon. He used the form of Tassadar to inspire Artanis to save him from Samir Duran, but after he was freed revealed his true form to them.
StarCraft: The Board Game
Tassadar appears as a playable faction in StarCraft: The Board Game, commanding the yellow protoss faction. His faction uses the Akilae Tribe. His ship, the Gantrithor, is available as a hero carrier that can be deployed in the game's Brood War expansion.
Heroes of the Storm
- Tassadar was designed by Chris Metzen, and was one of the first protoss he drew. Even from the initial conception, Tassadar was an outsider, and was written to be a rogue against the Conclave. However, the decision to sacrifice Tassadar wasn't Metzen's, as Tassadar's sacrifice against the Overmind was a request by the design team. They saw it as the crescendo of the game.
- A Tassadar figure was released in 1998, based on his concept art and wielding a battle blade. Tassadar's StarCraft II appearance was based on his action figure.
- The image of Tassadar appeared in Wings of Liberty, as in order to explain the Overmind's true nature to Zeratul in a reasonable amount of time, it would have to come from someone he would believe. Tassadar was deemed to be one such person.